Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

MDC-T vs Zanu-PF congress, a tale of two leaders

09 Dec 2014 at 15:10hrs | Views
At the MDC Congress, they gathered to elect their leaders while at the Zanu-PF congress, the people's business was simply to sing and to wait in vain for the dear leader to appoint his personal preferences into the cockpit of the party.

While elections took place at the MDC congress, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown across the political river to the extent that Mugabe lacked the guts to appoint his top lieutenants in the presidium as well as the politburo during the sitting of congress as demanded by his party's constitution.

At the City Sports Centre, we saw real democracy in the MDC as delegates exercised their democratic right to vote while at the Zanu-PF gathering, the circus reached its climax when President Robert Mugabe finally came out of the closet to attack his deputy.

Zimbabweans had never seen anything like it before; the presidency attacking itself, in the process putting George Charamba in a very invidious position of having to defend the office from itself.

The vice president was still in office, so he told us, and the president was not even considering firing her. All the accusations of corruption against Vice President Mujuru were mere politicking but there was no substance as the police had not done any investigations.

Of course, he was later to climb down from his n-ked pretence in his weekly column, where he accused Mujuru of corruption and other ills.

Expectedly, George thinks we have forgotten about all the plunders and sordid tales associated with the First Family and how he himself had taken money from the Psmas in murky circumstances.

In the MDC, where service and sacrifice are the signature values, the delegates gathered, largely at their personal expenses, to transact the business of the party they love so much.

Just as they did when a few individuals driven by their unbridled ambition walked away from the party 10 years ago, so too did they sell their goats and hens to showcase their unstinting commitment to the palpable change that now stares at us from the horizon.

And once again, our congress was held at the same place, the City Sports Centre because for the second time, ambition had gotten the better of some of us.

The Zanu-PF and the MDC congresses are evidence of the stark contrast in circumstances and the qualitative difference between the two political formations and their leaders.

While a few individuals in the MDC, including former MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, had walked away from the party, it was a different story for Zanu-PF when they held their congress.

The vice president and nine out of 10 provincial chairpersons had been hounded out of the party by the time they held their congress.

We saw the same crowd on our television sets; the same crowd in different provinces brandishing the same placards and demonstrating against elected provincial chairpersons.

The MDC may have held their congress with a small bruise but Zanu-PF was fractured, what with only two out of five members of the presidium at the high table. The rest stayed away because they feared for their safety.

And while MDC delegates punctuated their congress with genuine laughter and song, there was palpable tension among the Zanu-PF delegates as most had been grudgingly accepted into the party, including the man who was supposed to be master of ceremonies, Webster Shamu.

While the highlight of the MDC 4th congress was the election of leaders, presided over by an independent body, the same congress dealt with substantive issues that included institutional reform and a review of the party's policies.

Of importance is that the MDC delegates retained their right to elect their leaders while the Zanu-PF as a damp squib where Mugabe reserved the sole right to appoint people into the presidium.

That nonsense of a leader with appointing powers had failed to see the light of day in the MDC because it was simply against our values and principles as a democratic party.

In his speech at congress, Tsvangirai spoke about the national crisis which he attributed to a crisis of legitimacy, which can only be resolved by a truly free and fair election.

Mugabe's message at best was unadulterated drivel about juju and n'angas. He went further and confirmed he would die in office when he told delegates that those who choose to retire die earlier, implying he will stick it out until he gives the proverbial bucket a feeble kick consistent with his age.

The world was shocked to hear accusations of juju in government in this brave 21st Century, the digital age of facebook and twitter.

And talking of age, the 62-year-old Zanu-PF secretary for youth, Absalom Sikhosana is of the same age as Morgan Tsvangirai.

Thank God, the MDC is not of the same warped disposition as Tsvangirai would have to run for chairperson of the MDC youth assembly if we were insane enough to consider 62-year-olds as youths.

But we are the MDC and we are qualitatively different from Zanu-PF.

While Mugabe is still slugging out in the corridors of government, Zimbabweans may not know that at 90, the man is eight years older than Lydia Tsvangirai, the former prime minister's mother who is enjoying dotage in the comfort of her rural home in Buhera.

We in the MDC are marching bravely towards a new Zimbabwe. After our successful congress, the party has been busy holding induction workshops for all the newly-elected leadership in the MDC's 12 provinces.

Tsvangirai was one of the facilitators as the team moved around the country training provincial leaders on issues of vision, mission, strategy and the roadmap to the next election, among other issues.

This week, the MDC will hold national executive and council meetings to tie up all outstanding business of congress so that we concentrate on uniting the people after our congress, stabilising the party and positioning ourselves to win the next election.

We in the MDC are certain that there is national convergence in the country that Zanu-PF has dismally failed and Zimbabweans in their diversity will have to sit down and chart the way forward.

And even Mugabe knows which party is to blame and he might well be part of our national convergence conference when we hold it.

At least he knows which party is at the centre of the national crisis.

"Pasi neZanu-PF," (Down with Zanu-PF), he unwittingly blurted out at the Zanu-PF congress, leaving bemused delegates stunned.

He, too, is welcome into our big tent when we hold the national convergence conference!

*Tamborinyoka doubles as the MDC's director of information and publicity and spokesperson to party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes here in his personal capacity.

Source - dailynews
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.